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The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen…
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The Marsh King's Daughter

by Karen Dionne

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2513864,669 (3.97)17
  1. 00
    Room by Emma Donoghue (tangledthread)
    tangledthread: both stories deal with women kidnapped, held captive, and forced to have children.
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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
meh ( )
  pagewright | Aug 7, 2018 |
After I read The Marsh King's Daughter on First Look Book Club, and did not win a copy of the book, I requested the galley but did not get one. It has garnered rave reviews. It is set in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan and mentions places I have seen on vacation: Tahquamenon Falls, Seney, and Newberry. Karen Dionne is a Metro Detroit author.

Last spring, I put my name on the waiting list to borrow the ebook from the library through Libby. It finally came to me this week!

I read it in two evenings, staying up late to finish it.

Helena has kept her past a secret from her husband. She needed to escape the public eye so she changed her name and created another past. Her carefully constructed world come toppling down when the police come to her door because her father has escaped from prison. Helena's husband learns she is the daughter of the infamous Marsh King who had kidnapped her teenaged mother. and held her, and their child, hostage for years.

Helena grew up in the marshes, admiring her father who taught her to hunt and survive on the land. He had a brutal side and dealt out harsh punishments. She did not know anything else until she saw a happy family at Tahquamenon Falls--the first outsiders she had ever seen. When Helena was fourteen her mother tells her the truth, and Helena orchestrates their escape.

Helena knows she is the only person who can find her father. While she tracks her father through the territory she explored at his side we learn of her childhood and understand her turmoil. Helena knows too well her father is a narcissistic psychopath, but she also recalls how she loved him and the wilderness survival skills he taught her.

The novel is informed by Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale The Marsh King's Daughter.

Michigan is beautifully portrayed in Dionne's descriptions. The wildness, the flora and fauna, the tourist traps, and the brutal deforestation are all encountered.

The Marsh King’s Daughter is in development as a feature film. ( )
  nancyadair | Jul 24, 2018 |
Helena Pelletier seems to have a normal middle class life: a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a side business selling home-made jams and jellies. Life in Michigan's Upper Peninsular is tough... little does the reader know how tough. Helena has a secret: she is the product of rape when her mother was abducted as a teen. She is raised in the wilds of the UP without electricity, heat, or modern conveniences and totally isolated from all other humans. In an effort to distance herself from this terrible past, she has not told her husband. And then the day comes when her father escapes from prison. He is headed straight for Helena --and her family. Part wilderness survival tale, part thriller, part psychological study (mixed feelings re: her dad, indeed!), part fable (ties in with Andersen's fairy tale of the same name). Unlike other readers, I did not always find the book gripping. And while not an expert at who-done-its I thought there were some plot gaps (just how did she learn to read so well with no formal schooling and only National Geographic magazines?) I found the father to be pretty one-dimensional (he's dismissed as "narcissistic"!) He was truly evil and mentally ill... a more skilled writer might have been made him more sympathetic and believable. Nonetheless, I read it in three sittings and the Michigan setting, for this 'gander, is an added bonus. ( )
  mjspear | Jun 20, 2018 |
Wilderness man kidnaps a young teenager who births a daughter. Daddy Dearest trains the girl in survival techniques. He is abusive in all ways. Fast forward twenty years and this daughter has a family of her own. Daddy has been in prison but escapes by killing his guards. Problem: She has not told her family about him and now she knows he is coming for them. She sets out alone to track him, which is just what he wants. The end is a shocker. My thanks to the author and the Penguin First to Read program for a complimentary copy. ( )
  musichick52 | Jun 12, 2018 |
I have to admit that the name alone was part of the attraction, despite that idiocy, i loved this book......one of the best i've read in a while! Dionne has created a unique, breath-holding novel.
Helena grew up in the marshy wilderness of the upper peninsula of Michigan, she knows no other life. Her mother was abducted as a young teenager by her Native American father. They lived for 12 years in an abandoned cabin, eating what they shot or grew and jams her mum taught her to make. She grew up simply, on her fathers stories, old National Geographics and violence. It was the norm for all her life.... till one day when a stranger arrives.
Fast forward years later when she herself has children and she learns that her father has escaped prison. And she knows where he is headed..... ( )
  linda.marsheells | May 27, 2018 |
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Epigraph
To be fruitful provokes one’s downfall; at the rise of the next generation, the previous one has exceeded its peak. Our descendants become our most dangerous enemies for whom we are unprepared. They will survive and take power from our enfeebled hands.
—CARL GUSTAV JUNG
Dedication
For Roger, for everything
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If I told you my mother’s name, you’d recognize it right away.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0735213003, Hardcover)

Praised by Lee Child and Karin Slaughter, and sure to thrill fans of The Girl on the Train and The Widow, The Marsh King’s Daughter is mesmerizing psychological suspense, the story of a woman who must risk everything to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and threatens to steal her future: her father.
 
At last, Helena Pelletier has the life she deserves. A loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a business that fills her days. Then she catches an emergency news announcement and realizes she was a fool to think she could ever leave her worst days behind her.

Helena has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. No electricity, no heat, no running water, not a single human beyond the three of them. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature—fishing, tracking, hunting. And despite her father’s odd temperament and sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too . . . until she learned precisely how savage a person he could be.

More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn’t know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marshland he knows better than anyone else in the world. The police commence a manhunt, but Helena knows they don’t stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King—because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 20 Dec 2016 16:21:16 -0500)

"At last, Helena Pelletier has the life she deserves. A loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a business that fills her days. Then she catches an emergency news announcement and realizes she was a fool to think she could ever leave her worst days behind her.Helena has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. No electricity, no heat, no running water, not a single human beyond the three of them. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature—fishing, tracking, hunting. And despite her father's odd temperament and sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too . . . until she learned precisely how savage a person he could be. More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn't know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marshland he knows better than anyone else in the world. The police commence a manhunt, but Helena knows they don't stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King—because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter."--Amazon.com.… (more)

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